get to know - Jen Linder

If you told me two years ago that in six months’ time, at the age of 49, I’d be a first-time wife, living full-time with two teenaged stepchildren in East Aurora, NY, I’d have laughed you out of the room. I grew up in Williamsville, but I’d lived in Cambridge, MA, for nearly 30 years. I’d worked for MIT for nearly 20, had a killer (albeit teeny, tiny) condo in the heart of the city, and was devoted to my local yoga studio where, for 17+ years, Baptiste power yoga kept me feeling sane, resilient, and strong. I’d never even thought of leaving Cambridge. That is, of course, until a brave Buffalonian had the nerve to steal my heart.  

So life was a bit terrifying when, newly married and relocated, I first stepped foot in Bikram Yoga Williamsville (now I Am Yoga Buffalo) roughly 14 months ago. I missed my Baptiste yoga community, injury and arthritis had taken their tolls on my body, and I’d never done Bikram before. But a persistent sister had urged me to try it and I figured I had nothing to lose. Becky and crew were there to greet me with the kindest smiles I’d ever seen. Soon, their impassioned classes and skillful guidance had me feeling cared for, encouraged, and strong. My fellow yogis were warm and welcoming. And for the first time in a long time, practicing yoga didn’t hurt. 

So what am I now? I’m an exceedingly grateful, married-with-kids, temporarily out-of-work, continually inspired, “hot 26/2” yoga convert. And, thanks to the amazing I Am Yoga staff and community, I can safely say I’m home.


Stacey Bank